On my first night in Negros, I had been out with friends as described in the last posting and eventually, pretty tired and weary but very happy, I was deposited at my hotel, the Circle Inn. I had booked it online and it looked OK but at about £15 a night I wasn't expecting the Ritz. What a pleasant surprise. Very smart armed security on the door, charming reception staff and the room was very pleasant, as the images show.
The coffee shop / restaurant area looked pretty nice at a glance. It was only the next day when I discovered the decent sized pool and well-stocked carp pond that I decided it was a steal at that kind of money.
Next morning was time for a bit of an explore of the town, and it is as pleasant in daylight as it had been in the dark. It is well laid out and very clean and tidy.
First stop was a small zoo affair which specialises in endangered species from the Visayas region including the Visayan Warty Pig (lovely name) and the Visayan Deer. Here is a link to my VT page about it which shows more images and explains it all. Just a couple of photos here.
|Visayan warty pig.|
|Visayan writhed hornbill|
Well, look at me, I have just learned to do captions after about three years of keeping this blog. Quick learner, eh?
On a serious and sadder note, both these animals are officially critically endangered which means that without serious intervention they will be extinct in five years. Yes, five years, it hardly bears thinking about. Almost all the species here are either critically endangered or endangered which gives them an extinction timeline of ten years. It is very sad really.
After the ecological centre, I had a refreshing lime and ginger drink in a little cafe. I'd never had this in all my Asian travels and I am definitely going to try to replicate it at home.
|Lime and ginger drink.|
Nest, it was on to the grandly titled Negros Occidental Museum which is really a restored sugar baron's home with a few tableaux etc. in it as well as an art gallery. Interesting enough and it passed an hour or so.
|Negros Occidental Museum.|
|Musicians at the Bacolodiat.|
Off for a quick bite to eat and then it was party time. The Chinese New Year celebrations here last for three days and the city puts on a huge party which they delightfully name the Bacolodiat. The main drag (Lacson Street) is shut off with large stages erected at either end, there are excellent fireworks displays and general drunken revelry. The Philippinos love drinking and it is hardly surprising when you can buy a full bottle of Tanduay rum for about one pound. It is proper deisel but the good stuff is only about two quid. It is bizarre that a bottle of beer in a bar is about the same price. The Coke to mix it with costs more. Here are a few images of the first night.
I had selected a foodstall and had ordered some food. Everything was going swimmingly and then the Heavens opened and it rained as it can only rain in Asia, at which point everyone was damned near swimming literally. A proper tropical storm that went on for over an hour. The kitchen closed as the woks were filling with rainwater so I resorted to a cocktail. It was quite amusing as everyone was trying to cram into the food tents to avoid the deluge, it was bedlam but all very good-natured. This is what it looked like. People complain about the rain at Glastonbury, it has nothing on this place.
|Sodden festival goers.|
|Rain had obviously stopped play so it was off to bed||and hope for better weather on Saturday.|